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Thread: 2017 F-35 news and discussion thread

  1. #2341
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    always preferred Boeings X-32 to the F-35
    Time to take off the Beer Glasses.. You probably liked Honey Boo Boo's mom too
    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 12th September 2017 at 18:29.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  2. #2342
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    Agree. No problem

  3. #2343
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    The FMS Sale proposal was announced for 18 Super Hornets, some A2A missiles and some support.

    http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...da_17-49_1.pdf

    $5.23 Billion = $290 mil per F-18

    I thought the SH was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the F-35. This is a LOT more than the SK deal and even more than the Japanese deal which has the increased costs of local production to consider.

    WASHINGTON, Sep. 12, 2017 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Canada of:
    ten (10) F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines;
    eight (8) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines;
    eight (8) F414-GE-400 engine spares;
    twenty (20) AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars;
    twenty (20) M61A2 20MM gun systems;
    twenty-eight (28) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets;
    fifteen (15) AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods;
    twenty (20) Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems–Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS);
    thirty (30) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS);
    twenty-eight (28) AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Countermeasures Systems;
    one hundred thirty (130) LAU-127E/A and or F/A Guided Missile Launchers;
    twenty-two (22) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting System (DTS);
    twenty-two (22) AN/AYK-29 Distributed Targeting Processor (DTP);
    one hundred (100) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles;
    thirty (30) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM);
    eight (8) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATM);
    twenty (20) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Tactical Guidance Units;
    sixteen (16) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II CATM Guidance Units.

    Also included in this sale are AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems; AN/ARC-210 Communication System; AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder; AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loader (SKL); Data Transfer Unit (DTU); Accurate Navigation (ANAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation; KIV-78 Duel Channel Encryptor, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF); CADS/PADS; Instrument Landing System (ILS); Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); High Speed Video Network (HSVN) Digital Video Recorder (HDVR); Launchers (LAU-115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU-118A); flight test services; site survey; aircraft ferry; auxiliary fuel tanks; aircraft spares; containers; storage and preservation; transportation; aircrew and maintenance training; training aids and equipment, devices and spares and repair parts; weapon system support and test equipment; technical data Engineering Change Proposals; technical publications and documentation; software; avionics software support; software development/integration; system integration and testing; U.S. Government and contractor engineering technical and logistics support; Repair of Repairable (RoR); repair and return warranties; other technical assistance and support equipment; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total case value is $5.23 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 11, 2017.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  4. #2344
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    Hmm. I wish they had a breakdown of the cost of the individual items. Oh well.

    Looking around for comparables for FMS customers using the DSCA website:

    Iraq ordered 18 F-16IQ's for $2.3 billion ($128 million each) in 2012: http://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/iraq-f-16-aircraft
    Japan ordered 42 F-35A's for $10 billion ($238 million each) in 2012: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...apan_12-15.pdf
    Australia ordered 12 Super Hornets and 12 Growlers for $3.7 billion ($154 million each) in 2013: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...ia_13-05_0.pdf
    South Korea ordered 60 F-35A's for $10.8 billion ($180 million each) in 2013: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...ea_13-10_0.pdf
    Pakistan ordered 8 F-16 Block 52 for $699 million ($87 million each) in 2016: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...stan_15-80.pdf
    Kuwait ordered 40 F/A-18E/F for $10.1 billion ($252.5 million each) in 2016: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...wait_16-21.pdf
    Qatar ordered 72 F-15QA's for $21.1 billion ($293 million each) in 2016: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...atar_16-58.pdf
    Bahrain ordered 19 F-16V's for $2.785 billion ($147 million each) in 2017: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...rain_16-60.pdf

    And now this latest one of:

    Canada ordered 18 Super Hornets for $5.23 billion ($291 million each) in 2017: http://www.dsca.mil/sites/default/fi...da_17-49_1.pdf

    Granted, not all FMS are the same; each has different amounts of related support. But looking at the per-airplane costs in the past, I'm not sure how the Super Hornets are supposed to be cheaper.

    (I know I phrased these as "ordered" when that's not what the DSCA says, it says it's just notifying of a possible sale with an estimated price. The actual prices may have been different and not all of these may have gone through.)

  5. #2345
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    maybe the offer is to provide a clean exit to the bronco that has become the Canadian procurement process. that way, they can find in the rusty Australian classical Hornet a cheap buy. Boeing will even gain better on the latter (new wing, new center fuselage section, new flight computer new radar, new TFT, new... )...
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 13th September 2017 at 01:15.

  6. #2346
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    The Super Hornet is cheaper than the F-35. This has been shown on numerous occasions. But it definitely ain't a cheap aircraft by itself..
    Regd. the overall package cost, the aircraft usually takes ~40% of that, the rest going on infrastructure, training, support, spares etc.

  7. #2347
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    For Boeing and others claiming, something is "cheaper" is relative even on a bare bone unit procurement basis. What Super Hornet block, and what production batch is pitted against which F-35 variant? Will a 2020 Block III+ Super Hornet be cheaper than an F-35A that goes into production at the same time? Right now, most customers that are likely to be deciding between the two are most likely looking at early to mid 2020 deliveries. The advantages associated with a relatively good rate production and multi year USN buy would have faded from the Boeing production process, while the F-35A fleet size (globally) would likely be pushing closer to, if not exceeding the overall Super Hornet/Growler fleet size. The further right you go in terms of your delivery time-frame the F-35A procurement becomes more attractive. The difference compared to the F-35C will be interesting because the USN is not as far along in terms of procurement ramp up but then I don't think anyone outside of the USN will end up considering it at least in the forceable future.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #2348
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    F-35 Landing

    Mind the autofocus but I got to see the F-35 at a local airshow. https://youtu.be/rBA0nJitpp0

  9. #2349
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    6th and 7th now at Nevatim

    "The arrival of two additional aircraft will allow us to become operational according to plan," says Brig Gen Eyal Grinboim, base commander at Nevatim
    Source:
    FlightGlobal.com

  10. #2350
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    The Super Hornet is cheaper than the F-35. This has been shown on numerous occasions. .
    .
    Oh?

    What numerous occasions exactly? The ANAO said the F-35s are cheaper compared to the super hornets. All the estimates from the Canadians including the KPMG report put 65 F-35 at 9 billion including support and spares. Now compare that to the possible order for 18 and their cost. Let's look at the Danish report, or the Japanese.
    Super hornet has never won a competiton. They are only sole sourced. Canada would be the same.

    The one exception of F-35 vs super hornet as was pointed out is if one is not buying F-35A or B. But one is buying F-35C and has already paid all the R and D for super hornet. Had a training and supply chain set up for super hornets, is ordering more than a couple dozen super hornets and doesn't have to pay FMS fees.

    That's only one service in one country that fits that description.

    The US Navy.

    I've been hearing for over 5 years how the super hornet was going to be cheaper for Canada and now here we are and guess What?

    I'm still waiting for it to be cheaper. Has been funny watching the heads explode in denial though. The F-35 can't be cheaper it just cant! And these are for block II super hornets too. What's amazing is they are not just a little more expensive. But over twice as expensive. And a far cry from the "65 million" the liberals were claiming when they deceptively compares US Navy fly away costs to F-35 full cost.


    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opi...beandmail.com&

  11. #2351
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    We are talking 138 million for F-35 for Canada, vs 290 million for super hornet and there are some people who are actually claiming this is cheaper while sputtering about support costs and that super hornets "ain't a cheap aircraft"

    I'm wondering how a difference of 152 million dollars still isn't registering. What does the different have to be? 200 million? 250?

    I would think this was straight forward but there are actually people claiming the airplane that costs 152 million dollars more is the better deal.

    I'm also curious how cost increases for F-35 under the previous government Was a "scandal" but a cost welllllll above 65 million claimed by the liberals is not raising a peep. No cbc documentaries about "runaway fighters?" When the cost explodes to 4 times what they claimed for years? What about all the "we could afford 2 super hornets for each F-35!"??

    Where's that dumb commercial with the kids and their toy airplanes?

    Any apologies for all the "F-35 fanboys" who turned out to be right this whole dam time?

  12. #2352
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_5aab_God View Post
    We are talking 138 million for F-35 for Canada, vs 290 million for super hornet and there are some people who are actually claiming this is cheaper while sputtering about support costs and that super hornets "ain't a cheap aircraft"
    While there is probably a cost difference we need to be mindful that FMS costings are always on the high side and nations typically pay less than the initial estimate. The SH application is also obviously not an apples to apples comparison to an F-35 acquisition given the different sustainment profiles and Canada being a member of the JSF program.

    That being said the result shouldn't be a surprise given the production volumes and respective operators.

    Would be nice to hear some conservative noise on this issue but frankly the Canadian public doesn't care. If the fighter jet acquisition was such a hot political topic this would be all over Canadian papers... Instead it is relegated to deep back pages of the paper and Trudeau remains somewhat teflon to this debate.

  13. #2353
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    Yeah, IIRC FMS costings have to include everything for which permission to sell has been given, & it may not all be in the final contract.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  14. #2354
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    The problem is, the outsider does not know what the package contains. Divide that price-tag with the number of aircraft does not help. The result will be in general higher as the fly-away cost. Something new technology will come along with the related infrastruture, in personal, training, items, spare-parts, weapons and support. Some countries do even order that for the next twenty years, to have some self reliance.

  15. #2355
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    While there is probably a cost difference we need to be mindful that FMS costings are always on the high side and nations typically pay less than the initial estimate. The SH application is also obviously not an apples to apples comparison to an F-35 acquisition given the different sustainment profiles and Canada being a member of the JSF program.

    That being said the result shouldn't be a surprise given the production volumes and respective operators.

    Would be nice to hear some conservative noise on this issue but frankly the Canadian public doesn't care. If the fighter jet acquisition was such a hot political topic this would be all over Canadian papers... Instead it is relegated to deep back pages of the paper and Trudeau remains somewhat teflon to this debate.
    Trudeau seems to be well protected by the same media that was calling for heads to roll only a few years ago. F-35 Was never about being the CF-18 replacement to them it was a political club to beat the opposition with. With a liberal in office the club can now be safely retired. It's ok when liberals waste money... that's what they do afterall!

    But as to your point about FMS yes. Yes indeed. That's the point. I don't know how people get away with saying "well it's cheaper" for the US maybe. Once fees and R and D get assessed it's no longer cheaper. It's one of those mirages where it's cheap unless you buy it, then it's suddenly not cheap.

    As late as just last year the liberals were claiming 65 million and why Not? Up until then the bluff was never called and of course Boeing was happy to lie about the real cost, liberals were happy to repeat thr lie and not compare Apple's to apples using US flyaway cost vs Canadian procurement cost F-35.

    I understand that not every piece is accounted for, but I would say it's pretty Damn obvious I can see the puzzle without every single piece in place.

    A cynic would even think the entire interim farce, the contradiction of calling for an open and fair competition while excluding the top competitor, and vowing never to buy a certain aircraft isn't a bug but a feature. It's designed to make Canada a second tier force. It's designed to be ineffective. It's designed to waste money on piecemeal temporary solutions at the cost of actual long term real solutions. In my estimation trudeaus overall goal is to have a combat ineffective force so there will be no need to fight "sorry can't go, gear is obsolete"

  16. #2356
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    US considers non-combat-rated subset of F-35 fleet
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-fleet-441248/

    Around 100 F-35 would not be upgraded to level 3 std vu reamain with 2B software...

  17. #2357
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    This has always been the position in that each service would base its schedule and strategy of 2B-3F conversion based on internal budget, demand, and priority. You could prioritize 3F jets and ramp up to combat coded squadrons while saving money on converting units like the 58th Fighter squadron that has a training role. The services, particularly the USAF realize that the number one priority is to build volume which allows them to buy the fleet more affordably, given the production ramp up that is scheduled for the next 5-6 years. In an uncertain budgetary environment, they will protect that as much as possible.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 19th September 2017 at 12:46.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  18. #2358
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    Similar to the block 20 F-22's used for training. If (and that's a qualified "if") the 2B configuration is sufficient for training, then it's somewhat of a waste to bring them up to 3F and beyond.

    Given the standard split between combat coded airframes and those used for training, weapons squadrons, maintenance trainers, test and eval, roughly 1/3 of the planned fleet will not be used in active duty squadrons.

    Would not be surprised to see some of the early production F-35's stay in 2B forever. By the early 2020's they probably will not have enough fatigue life left for economical upgrade. Others will likely be upgraded, just as the block 10 Raptors were.
    Last edited by FBW; 19th September 2017 at 13:05.

  19. #2359
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    It has always been like that in aviation, at least with large programs. See the P51, P47, F-86, F100, F101.... Either Halloween has forgotten what a successful program can be or if he really makes a discovery out of this, I will suggest him to spend more time studying history and less nitpicking F35's enormes scandales

    Excerpt from Wikipedia on the Phantom F-4 history, a largely (successful) comparable program that share IMO many similarities:

    A total of 45 F-4As were built and none saw combat and most ended up as test or training aircraft .[23] The USN and USMC received the first definitive Phantom, the F-4B which was equipped with the Westinghouse APQ-72 radar (pulse only), a Texas Instruments AAA-4 Infra-red search and track pod under the nose, an AN/AJB-3 bombing system and powered by J79-GE-8,-8A and -8B engines of 10,900 lbf (48.5 kN) dry and 16,950 lbf (75.4 kN) afterburner (reheat) with the first flight on 25 March 1961. 649 F-4Bs were built with deliveries beginning in 1961 and VF-121 Pacemakers receiving the first examples at NAS Miramar.[23]
    The F-4J had improved air-to-air and ground-attack capability; deliveries begun in 1966 and ended in 1972 with 522 built.[24] It was equipped with J79-GE-10 engines with 17,844 lbf (79.374 kN) thrust, the Westinghouse AN/AWG-10 Fire Control System (making the F-4J the first fighter in the world with operational look-down/shoot-down capability),[25] a new integrated missile control system and the AN/AJB-7 bombing system for expanded ground attack capability.[26]
    The F-4N (updated F-4Bs) with s
    mokeless engines and F-4J aerodynamic improvements started in 1972 under a U.S. Navy-initiated refurbishment program called "Project Bee Line"[27] with 228 converted by 1978.


    [and so on and so on and so on... ]
    F4B's share a large burden of the number of sorties generated during Vietnam

    Name:  F-4B_VF-111_dropping_bombs_on_Vietnam.jpg
Views: 479
Size:  59.2 KB
    This is an F4B!
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 19th September 2017 at 13:56.

  20. #2360
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    It has always been like that in aviation, at least with large programs. See the P51, P47, F-86, F100, F101.... Either Halloween has forgotten what a successful program can be or if he really makes a discovery out of this, I will suggest him to spend more time studying history and less nitpicking F35's enormes scandales
    For the sake of discussion, i did not comment. So your opinion about me is purely fantasies.

  21. #2361
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    Around 100 F-35 would not be upgraded to level 3 std vu reamain with 2B software...
    That is 1 of several proposals and nothing has been decided.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  22. #2362
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    That is 1 of several proposals and nothing has been decided.
    yes. i said "would" not will

    But if so, quite expensive for a trainer...

  23. #2363
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    But if so, quite expensive for a trainer...
    - Hallow, what are you talking about?

    Read my post from above, even IF every F-35 ever built (and to be built) was brought up to the latest standards, 1/3 of them would not be combat coded. Furthermore, the aircraft used in the training squadrons don't have to be updated to the latest hardware/software standards.

    Calling them expensive for a trainer is an ignorant statement. Are the Typhoons in OCU units "expensive" for a trainer? Are the Rafale in 2/92 Aquitaine "expensive" training aircraft.

    Yes- and you need them to convert pilots to the type. Not to mention the maintenance trainers for each wing. Do you think they need to be 3F to serve their purpose?
    Last edited by FBW; 19th September 2017 at 16:27.

  24. #2364
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    Are the Typhoons in OCU units "expensive" for a trainer? Are the Rafale in 2/92 Aquitaine "expensive" training aircraft
    I don't know about Typhoons, but Rafale from 2/92 are F3.4 type afaik.Again i did not originally comment.

  25. #2365
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    quite expensive for a trainer...
    They are talking about F-35 training units that already fly the aforementioned Block 2B jets.

    Take a look at the map.

    Most of those at Luke AFB, Eglin AFB, and MCAS Beaufort are training F-35s that will never need to see combat.

    Last edited by SpudmanWP; 19th September 2017 at 16:50.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  26. #2366
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    But if so, quite expensive for a trainer...
    How else do you propose training pilots to fly and master the aircraft? The program has more than 470 trained pilots, and over 4000 trained maintainers and the numbers are expected to grow as the demand grows with increased production. There will be a large number of F-35s that will be with training squadrons and will not need to be combat coded or expected to do combat duties. You could very easily move their upgrade plans to the right if you had to choose between keeping them up to date with the latest block, or investing that money into combat units.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  27. #2367
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    I don't know about Typhoons, but Rafale from 2/92 are F3.4 type afaik.Again i did not originally comment.
    Here's my issue with your comment:
    But if so, quite expensive for a trainer...
    You don't seem to get how a fleet is organized. In every competent air force, some of the fleet strength is going to be used for training (or OCU, and many European airforces call those units), some will be used for static trainers for maintenance ground crews, some will be used for test and eval, others stored as attrition airframes.

    Is it imperative that the entire fleet be brought to the same standard? Even when many will never be combat coded? Were all F-16's built upgraded with APG-68, or made compatable with Lantirn, or AMRAAM when they became available?

    Let's look at the AdlA Rafale fleet:
    As of 2017, some 149 have been delivered. Roughly 110 to the AdlA.
    There are four frontline squadrons, one OCU, one test. The three squadrons in France have roughly 20 aircraft apiece, the OCU has/had 6, 1/30 Côte d'Argent has 5, and EC 1/7 Provence (which had 20 aircraft when in France, likely 6 when deployed to Al Dhafra)
    That means that there are roughly 75-80 aircraft serving between the active squadrons, OCU, and test. You state that they are all F3.4 standard. What about the other 30 aircraft? Are the ones currently not assigned to a squadron upgraded to F3.4?
    How many of those are going to be upgraded to F4?

    It might be helpful to look at the state of every other airforce and fleet before throwing passive-aggressive barbs at the USAF plans for the F-35. In a perfect world, all aircraft in everyone's service were up to date, combat capable, and well maintained. Reality does not support that.

    Edit- 1/7 has 14 aircraft. 3/30 "Lorraine" had 6 previously, likely does not have 20 on strength.
    Last edited by FBW; 19th September 2017 at 19:33.

  28. #2368
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    I'm of the opinion that all aircraft should be brought up to 3F standard even if they are to be used for training just so pilots can fly the aircraft without any of the performance restrictions that were there on those early blocks.

    I'm still a bit disappointed that there was no restart of F-22 production but it's very good to see the F-35 continue to move ahead with fewer and fewer road-bumps being encountered each month. It seems like the biggest challenge from now on will be the endless battle with the bean-counters and Congress to actually buy more of them. Now I just wish we'd get moving on an AMRAAM successor.

  29. #2369
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    It might be helpful to look at the state of every other airforce and fleet before throwing passive-aggressive barbs at the USAF plans for the F-35. In a perfect world, all aircraft in everyone's service were up to date, combat capable, and well maintained. Reality does not support that.
    Wow, and vvery soon i'll learn that "it was always the plan"... And no, a conversion unit equiped with subpar standard is not a good idea. You are qualifying pilots on subpar stds (aka not fully qualified)



    Ejection seat issue not so fixed???

    Safety Experts: Some F-35 Ejections Pose ‘Serious’ Death Risk
    http://www.rollcall.com/news//safety...us-death-risk/
    Last edited by halloweene; 20th September 2017 at 09:59.

  30. #2370
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    Wow, and very soon i'll learn that "it was always the plan"... And no, a conversion unit equiped with subpar standard is not a good idea. You are qualifying pilots on subpar stds (aka not fully qualified)
    While I am also of the opinion that all the training jets should be upgraded to 3F your point is not valid. Pilots who graduate from an Operational Conversion Unit come out at a baseline standard. The intent of the course is to learn to fly the jet and then depending upon type, operate the jet in basic A2A and A2G scenarios with baseline threats. The difference then between a 2B and 3F for OCU is marginal at best. When aircrew leave OCU they start at 'D' Cat, functioning as a junior squadron member and spend the next year or two learning the jet, tactics and threat capabilities before they graduate higher, can command a pair and then years later a four ship.

    The OCUs I am aware of for several western Air Forces all operate typically either lesser capable jets or delay upgrading the OCU jets until last.

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